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European Alternative Fuels Observatory
News article24 November 2023

Commission welcomes new UN Aviation Agency global target for sustainable aviation fuels

SAF aircraft

The European Commission welcomes the agreement reached today at the third International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Conference on Aviation and Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) on a global framework for sustainable aviation fuels and other cleaner aviation energy. This includes the aspirational goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 5% by 2030 through increased use of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) worldwide. ICAO agreed to review the ambition by 2028 to take into account market developments and new investments in production capacity around the world.

This decision sends a powerful and unified signal to investors worldwide on the need to prioritise investment in cleaner energy for aviation. It complements ICAO’s first global sectoral sustainability framework for fuels, implemented under the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). The agreement creates certainty over the environmental integrity of sustainable aviation fuels and supports the scaling-up of their production and access to finance.

The agreement puts in motion the historic decision adopted by the ICAO Assembly in 2022 to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions for international aviation by 2050. SAF will play a key role in meeting this goal, and the agreement sets out a clear pathway to do so.

Now that the agreement is reached, implementation should start as soon as possible, building on the four pillars of: policy and planning; regulatory framework; implementation support; and financing. Assistance and capacity-building across these four pillars will play a central role in the scaling-up of SAF around the world, notably in developing countries.

The EU is committed to supporting its partners in their decarbonisation efforts, and SAF is a priority area for 2024 under the Global Gateway initiative. The EU is already contributing, including through a new €4 million project that is financing feasibility studies and assistance for increased SAF production and certification in India and in many African countries.

Background

The EU Member States and the Commission worked closely together and demonstrated global leadership in facilitating the agreement reached today. The EU will continue to engage with ICAO on implementation, and support technical work towards the robust reporting methodology needed to monitor progress towards the goal agreed.

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